1938, Nora heads to Paris to train to be a chef. Her friend Sabine is pregnant but forced to move to Alsace due to family issues. 1964, Iris discovers she is adopted and wants to find out the truth about her birth mother.
The Last Train From Paris is a dual timeline book set in the 1930s and 1960s.
Nora and Sabine are both facing huge upheaval. Nora is determined to follow her dream of learning French cuisine, whilst Sabine’s dreams are on hold while she supports her husband and gives birth. Both of these women’s lives are overshadowed by looming international events as WW2 approaches.
Iris wants to solve the mystery of her biological parents but her mum finds it too hard to talk about so hands over a tin with letters and photos. I enjoyed the dual timelines as we wait for the connection between the two eras to be clarified. There is plenty of emotion as the three main female characters seek a better future for themselves and their loved ones.
France is soon swept into the war and there are terrible choices to be made. I liked the historical element to the book and felt that the dread and fear evoked as the Nazis approaches was vividly created.
The Last Train From Paris is hugely emotional at times and thought provoking for making you consider how you would act in those circumstances.
The Last Train from Paris
For Iris, each visit to her mother in St Mabon’s Cove, Cornwall has been the same – a serene escape from the city. But today, as she breathes in the salt air on the doorstep of her beloved childhood home, a heavy weight of anticipation settles over her. Iris knows she’s adopted, but any questions about where she came from have always been shut down by her parents, who can’t bear to revisit the past.
Now, Iris can’t stop thinking about what she’s read on the official paperwork: BABY GIRL, FRANCE, 1939 – the year war was declared with Nazi Germany.
When Iris confronts her mother, she hits the same wall of pain and resistance as whenever she mentions the war. That is, until her mother tearfully hands her an old tin of letters, tucked neatly beside a delicate piece of ivory wool.
Retreating to the loft, Iris steels herself to at last learn the truth, however painful it might be. But, as she peels back each layer of history before her, a sensation of dread grows inside her. The past is calling, and its secrets are more intricate and tangled than Iris could ever have imagined.
The year is 1939, and in Paris, France a young woman is about to commit a terrible betrayal…
A beautifully written and addictively compelling historical novel about the terrible choices ordinary people were forced to make in the horrors of World War Two. If you loved The Tattooist of Auschwitz, The Alice Network and The Nightingale, you will devour this book.
What readers are saying about Juliet Greenwood:
“This was fantastic! Perfect for a Kate Morton or Lucinda Riley hangover, this book will draw you in and won’t let go until you’ve read the last page. This book was unputdownable – fascinating characters, excellent writing, and a plot that keeps you turning the pages. I loved every second of it.” Reader review, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
“I found myself reading chapter after chapter, unable to put it down. A first-time read by this author but certainly not the last.” Reader review, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
“For readers of Kate Morton and Lucinda Riley, this book will be one of your favorites… A historical novel that will keep you reading until the end.” Reader review, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
“An absolutely brilliant read. I could not put it down…I loved how the war changed everyone and it was a gripping story… I really loved it. Cannot recommend it enough.” Reader review, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
“Did everything that I was looking for… it left me wanting to read more from Juliet Greenwood.” Reader review, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Juliet Greenwood is a historical novelist, now published by Storm Publishing. Her first novel was a finalist for The People’s Book Prize and two of her books reached the top 5 in the UK Kindle store. Juliet has always been a bookworm and a storyteller, writing her first novel (a sweeping historical epic) at the age of ten. She lives in a traditional cottage in Snowdonia, North Wales, set between the mountains and the sea, with an overgrown garden (good for insects!) and a surprisingly successful grapevine.